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New poems

In “Signed Curtain”, a song by the group Matching Mole, the music is played while Robert Wyatt sings the lyrics, which themselves point to what the music is doing. This song is a good example of what we try to do in the “New poems” section, in which we close-read recent works (from 2001 onwards) and try to show what we like about them, pointing to their particularities and explaining the reasons why we think they deserve attention. We wish to escape the idea that the purpose of literary criticism is to make a claim about a poem’s quality, or their lack of it. Instead, we take pleasure in finding a poem’s mechanisms or in memorizing lines which will be helpful to give someone’s advice (sometimes it is good to have something to say). So, if you were betrayed, or know someone who was, please do read Lorraine Mariner’s “There is nothing wrong with my sister”. For those who feel tired, like their head is crumbling, we suggest Alice Oswald’s “Head of a Dandelion”. If you need a love poem, read “The Space of the Mandarin Duck” (and try your luck).